The Art of Learning to Be Content

We live in a society that seeks instant gratification. Instead of making do with what we have and working towards the achievement of a common goal, we often become impatient, wanting everything right now. Yet often the greatest blessings come in the journey enroute to the things we want for our lives. Our insistence on having everything we think we need the exact minute we feel we need it sets us up to miss out on some of God’s richest lessons for us.


Yet often our perception of the things we need is faulty. We have difficulty differentiating between true need and what is simply want. Though God has promised to supply for our every need, we are often ungrateful for the things He has provided and foolishly seek more.


The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11:

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”


Though many Christians have had to endure great persecution as a result of their relationship with Jesus, those of us who live in North America live relatively pampered lives. We have the luxury of worshipping our Lord both openly and freely without fear of having to renounce our choices or lose our lives.


The Apostle Paul knew what it was to suffer for his decisions. A citizen of Rome and a Pharisee, Paul once took great delight in persecuting those who chose to follow Christ. Upon his conversion to Christianity, Paul began to understand what it meant to experience hardship for his faith in our Lord. Shipwrecked several times, beaten, jailed, tortured, starved, and much more, Paul still held fast to the truth that he had learned that whether his needs were met or he found himself wanting that he chose to be content.


Few believers will ever be forced to suffer the mistreatment and pain the Apostle Paul did. Yet we take offence to the most minor inconveniences and are quick to complain when our every whim is not indulged. The truth is being content is a mindset. We can choose to see our circumstances as bleak or blessed. The decision is entirely our own.


If you are struggling to find contentment in the circumstances you find yourself in, consider some of these important steps to help you find the joy in your life:

  • Think of one thing in your life that you are grateful for.

No one’s life is 100 percent perfect, yet we all have something we can be grateful for. Taking the time to reflect on your life can help you to see things from a different perspective. Find one thing that you are truly thankful for and express your gratitude to the Lord for that special gift.

  • Replace each negative with a positive.

When you find yourself dwelling on the things in your life that make you unhappy, replace those thoughts with things that you are thankful for. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, take time to replace negative thinking with gratitude for the many things that God has given to you.

  •  Take joy in simple pleasures.

We can become so caught up in our own negative thoughts that we forget to find the joy in the simple things in life. The greatest pleasures are often found in the smallest things such as the hand of a grandchild in your own, an interesting book, or a hot cup of tea on a cold winter’s night. Take the time to live in the moment and truly appreciate the small things that bring you great joy.

  •  Remember that not getting what we want can be good for us.

Since we lack a heavenly perspective, we often cannot see when the things we want would actually cause us harm. Sometimes, not getting the things we want, or not getting them at the time feel we should receive them, is for our own good. Our Lord sees the bigger picture; we only see small details. At times, getting what we want leads to misery and pain, and we can thank our Lord for having the grace to spare us from ourselves and our own short-sighted desires.


Though it can be easy to become caught up in thoughts of what we don’t have, it is important to train our minds to be grateful for all of the things that God has given us. This simple shift in thinking can help us to learn to be content with our lives no matter what is going on around us. We have the confidence that God is for us, and He is working on our behalf to provide all of the things we need to live a life that is filled with joy and pleasing to Him.


Are you struggling with finding contentment in your life? Contact Anchor of Hope Ministry now at (306) 940-9554 to learn more about reconnecting with the source of joy through an abundant relationship with our Lord.